What's bothering Tesla this week? Gunshots and sexual harassment allegations
Tesla seems to be making headlines for all wrong reasons lately. While a Tesla employee was allegedly killed in the parking lot of the electric car manufacturer's Fremont factory following an argument with one of his coworkers there, the Fremont Police Department has said in a statement on December 13, there was a strong of lawsuits against the automaker alleging sexual harassment at the EV maker's factory premises.
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This comes as the latest embarrassment for the automaker. In the firing incident, police said that the victim had just finished a shift at the Tesla factory when he was shot in the parking lot as he left. Investigators have learned that a potential suspect who is also a worker of the Tesla's Fremont plant, had walked off the job following an argument with the victim earlier in that day.
Fremont Police later arrested 29-year-old Anthony Solima, who while surrendering to police was found with a loaded short-barrel rifle and ammunition matching the casings discovered at the crime scene. The victim's identity is yet to be confirmed by the coroner's office, claims a Bloomberg report.
Speaking about the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by six of Tesla's female employees, the lawsuit alleged a culture of sexual harassment at the EV maker's California plant and other facilities that included unwanted touching, catcalls and retaliation for those who complained, reports AFP.
The lawsuits, filed within a month of two others, add to the controversies centred on the Fremont factory in the San Francisco Bay area and which include a coloured ex-employee being awarded $137 million in a racism lawsuit. The latest lawsuit also claims that Tesla CEO Elon Musk's explicit or provocative tweets influenced the tone at the workplace.
Tesla's name has been involved in several controversies in recent past. While the automaker has been accused of using a faulty Autopilot semi-autonomous driving technology in its electric cars, Tesla's work culture has drawn criticism.
One female engineer at Tesla filed a lawsuit in 2016 describing a culture of pervasive harassment. A lawsuit was filed by one of the Tesla workers alleging racial abuse by coworkers and no step by the company authorities. In June 2018, a former high-level safety official at Tesla sued the EV company for failing to treat injured workers and misclassifying worker injuries to avoid reporting them to authorities.